By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The latest returns made clear the 49-year-old politician would again lead a minority government after summoning voters two years before he had to.
Yet, in an address to his party, Trudeau tried to sound upbeat, telling voters: “You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate,” adding, “what we’ve seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan.”
Trudeau had argued that, like his predecessors following World War II, he needed a solid mandate to lead his nation through troubled times.
But Trudeau’s opponents saw it as a reckless power grab that Erin O’Toole, the Conservative leader, called “un-Canadian.”
Critics also condemned the election campaign and unnecessary vote when the coronavirus Delta variant “was straining hospitals” in some areas.
However, “Canadians did not give Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted,” O’Toole told his supporters earlier in the night.
O’Toole, who will be Canada’s opposition leader once again, said his Conservatives are projected to win the popular vote once again.
But he conceded there is “more work for us to do” to form a government.
Trudeau’s Liberals were leading or elected in 157 seats — the same number they won in 2019, initial results showed. That was 13 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.
The Conservatives were the largest opposition force leading or elected in 121 seats, the same number they won in 2019, results showed.
The leftist New Democrats were reportedly leading or elected in 29, a gain of five seats.
However, the Quebec-based Bloc Québécois was down three at 28 and the Greens remained at two seats.
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